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Home > World

You've got to be in it...

3 September 2004

On Monday this week, President Bush had a moment of clarity. He was speaking on NBC television, replying to the simple question, 'Can America win the War on Terror?' "No," he said, his eyes drifting away from the autocue, momentarily losing their glaze.

"Of course it fucking can't," he said. "Are you insane? Do you understand nothing? The whole point of the War on Terror is that it never *ever* ends. We made a big mistake with the Cold War, but with the fall of Communism we realised that our next boogie-man would have to be as vague as it was terrifying, as universally-applicable as it was specific-seeming. We knew we'd have to declare war on something which was endlessly renewable, and something with which we could easily tie in all of our other bigotries. We chose Terror. We're really rather clever you know. In a slightly Satanic way. And no, the War on Terror will never *ever* end."

OK, it wasn't quite like that. It was like this: "I don't think you can win it," he said. "But I think you can create conditions so that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world." At which point the sound of multi-billionaires panicking could be heard throughout the civilised West.

On Monday night, Bush was given a short, sharp talking-to and the 'over by Christmas' rule was explained to him yet again. After a few hours, he finally got it. "I finally get it," he said. "We know that the War on Terror will never be won - indeed was specifically created to guarantee our friends and families wealth and power beyond their wildest imaginings until the end of time, but we *never admit to it*. Of course! It seems so obvious. Instead we just keep saying, 'it'll be over by Christmas', or 'it'll be over in our lifetime', or 'we've captured the ringleaders', or whatever else we can fluff or trump up to make it appear we really are fighting and we really are winning. How clever." On Tuesday morning, Bush's cheeks were still slightly shiny from where Karl Rove and Paul Wolfowitz had spent most of Monday night bitch-slapping some sense into him.

Since then he has said the words, "we will win the war on terror" approximately five hundred times. The idea being, the more times he says it, the more people will believe him and the more people will vote for him in November. The horrible thing of course, is that he is right.

Last night the Republican Convention came to a close, with Bush addressing a convention hall close to the site of TTEOSE. "We are staying on the offensive," he promised, "striking terrorists aboard - so we do not have to face them here at home. And we will prevail."

Meanwhile this week the terrorists Bush and Co have spent centuries creating have been having a field day, kidnapping, beheading, bombing and threatening. On the whole, they don't seem too concerned that they are losing the War. Could it be that they too see the hollowness of Bush's words? Or do they simply not give a fuck? After all, as any suicide bomber or war president will tell you, it's not the winning, it's the taking apart that counts.

But don't worry. It'll be over by Christmas.

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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